A dual process model of diversity outcomes: The case of the South African Police Service in the Pretoria area

L.T.B. Jackson, F.J.R. van de Vijver, D.H. Molokoane

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    The study addresses the question of how employees of the South African Police Service (SAPS) cope with intercultural relations in an increasingly diverse organisation.
    Research purpose: 
    A dual-process model of diversity outcomes was tested in which a distinction is made between a positive (work-related) stream that links positive diversity conditions through active coping to work outcomes and a relatively independent health related) stream of negative antecedents, mediating passive coping skills and ill-health related outcomes.
    Motivation for the study: 
    To test the viability of a dual-process model to understand diversity outcomes in the workplace.
    Research design, approach and methods: 
    A convenience sample (n= 158) was recruited from members of the SAPS in Gauteng, using a cross-sectional design. Instruments used in previous acculturation research were adapted to measure contextual factors, coping and diversity outcomes.
    Main findings: 
    A very good fit for the proposed hypothetical model was found. Approach coping partially mediated the relationship between positive acculturation conditions and the subjective experience of work success whereas avoidance coping fully mediated the relationship between discrimination, and ill-health symptoms are related to ill-health symptoms.
    Practical/managerial implications: 
    Mainstream-facilitating conditions and discrimination influence individual coping styles, which in turn impact on ill-health and the subjective experience of work success. In addition, ill-health also impacts negatively on work-success experiences amongst the sampled SAPS members. It would thus make sense for the SAPS to sanction discrimination.
    Contribution/value added: 
    A variation of the mediated dual-process model for diversity (Jackson & Van de Vijver, in press), using coping strategies as mediators was supported. The model adds new insights in diversity in organisations.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalSouth African Journal of Human Resource Management
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


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